Month: November 2017

365 Challenge: Day 263 – Xenophile

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Xenophile: A person attracted to that which is foreign, especially to foreign peoples, manners or cultures

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I looked through the last 260+ words (yes, I’ve been at this for a while!) and found nothing that started with the letter ‘x’ in the list. Today’s word needed to start with an ‘x’ not because I missed using that letter or because I brilliantly discovered that I missed using it. I’m not that smart, but someone else is… and she happened to realize it a few weeks ago. So today’s post is dedicated to this brilliant woman — who also happens to be the same person I spoke about providing the word ‘dawdle’ a few days ago. She’s suggested a few more words, so keep your seat belts buckled, as it’s gonna be a few weeks of very cool choices. There were two other ‘x’ words I thought about using, but I admit I searched an online dictionary to verify I hadn’t missing anything obvious. There were about 50 words to choose from, mostly in the medical field. That wouldn’t work — no offense, but I’m not sure I’d do them justice. The other two options were ‘xerox’ and ‘xenophobia.’

If you’ve read a few past posts, you’ll know I love to travel and learn about other countries. It makes more sense for me to go with ‘xenophile’ as the 365 Daily Challenge word for today. I’ve always felt a strong connection to other countries, mostly from my heritage, but also the Latin American ones. I took Spanish as my second language in middle and high school, as well as 8 Spanish writing and literature courses in college. I could speak in fluently for many years, but not using it everyday has limited my proficiency. I adore culture and learning about different peoples and histories from all over the world. I celebrate the unique or distinct qualities we all share, and I’d rather experience the upside of knowing culture than the downside of being a xenophobe.

Life’s short, even if you life an entire century. The world changes so fast each day, there will always be something new and different. I choose to explore it, rather than run from it. What I know is clearly NOT the only acceptable way of existing or doing something; therefore, it’s my responsibility to learn as much as I can about everything around me. No, I’m not on a soapbox! I’m just expressing how I live my day. I won’t ever know it all, but if I’m lucky enough to be exposed to a few wonderful pieces of the world throughout my life, then it’s something too celebrate. I am a xenophile and I admit it!

What are you favorite words with an ‘x’ ?

What are you favorite parts of the world to visit ?

What culture do you come from ?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 262 – Oy!

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Oy!: the sound Jay makes when the day gets away from him and he just can’t believe it’s 6 PM and he’s not finished anything that needs to be done today and he rambles and this is not a very good picture of who he is right now so please just don’t read this post

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Picture it. New York City. 7:00 AM. Jay on his couch… up a bit early. Already done with  checking social media, responding to emails and coffee. Now he just needs to get a few important things done, such as (1) the 365 Daily Challenge word and (2) eight hours to edit Father Figure. Gym will be skipped. Lunch will be heated up in the microwave and finished quickly. If he works quick enough, it can all be done with a free evening. Then he can write the 365 post. NO, Jay yells back to himself — write it NOW so you don’t have to stress later…

8 HOURS PASS

… Jay did not write the 365 post. No gym. Quick lunch. Editing is taking longer than I expected. Then I realized I hadn’t looked at any marketing for Watching Glass Shatter today and I really need to spend at least an hour on it. I haven’t prepped for a Long Island trip tomorrow to see a financial planner and my parents to work on some holiday gifts… oh, you get the picture and don’t want or need to hear me whine. This is the post. It’s as good as I can get today. Tomorrow’s might not be that good either, but I’ve almost got Friday’s Author Alert ready! So… that said, two final thoughts before I go back to editing:

  1. If you commit to a daily activity, DO IT EARLY! Don’t be like me. 🙂
  2. OY! How does time fly like this. OY! Why am I dawdling. OY! I used that word already. OY! Please just make tomorrow easier.

OK… yup, if this is one of the first posts you’re reading from me — PLEASE don’t judge me by it. I normally have good content. Fun book reviews. Interesting writing topics. Cool conversations. It’s NOT always like today. We all have our days where things just aren’t at all emblematic of our good side. You’re seeing my bad side today! Pick any one of the clips below and that was me at some point during today. And probably the rest of the night.

Mid-Morning

At lunch

Mid-Afternoon

This will be tonight

This is right now

This is all day tomorrow, I suspect

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 261 – Dawdle

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Dawdle: waste time; be slow; idle

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For the most part, I do not dawdle. I have way too many things going on, and if I did, I’m certain my ‘To Do List’ would get revenge on me. It prefers not to go in excess of ten things that must be achieved, and if by five o’clock each day, the count is closer to double digits than zero, I might not make it through the night. Yet I seem to find myself dawdling this week over completing Father Figure! I planned to work on it four days this week, one of which was yesterday. While I completed 1/3 of the read aloud, I ignored writing the three additional scenes that are necessary before I can send it off to beta readers. I’m determined to complete them today, but I feel another dawdle coming on…

It’s a rather interesting word, isn’t it? I must give credit to a wonderful friend who shall remain nameless (unless she chooses to respond to this message) who suggested this as a potential word to consider for the 365 Daily Challenge. None of you have met or talked with this particular person, as she’s a friend I’ve known for about a decade outside of this site; however, she does read the blog and comments privately each week on something. She knows me well and finds the right way to connect on a variety of levels. She’s not a blogger or author, but reads a lot — she’s also provided lots of feedback into my novels. If you’ve enjoyed them, then she’s someone to thank too (just my way of embarrassing her a tiny bit without it being public).

The biggest thing that comes to mind with the word dawdle is the multitude of odd synonyms: lollygag, dilly dally, straggle, shilly-shally… the list goes on and on! My pre-school’s name was Dilly Dally. As a child, I loved it. Today, I wonder why on earth  you’d name a school something that is a word with more negative than positive associations? The other funny thing about these words is the repetition of double letters, or the high count of the letters ‘d’ or ‘g’ or ‘l’ in them. I suppose I should look this up… I suppose I should have looked this up before writing the post. But I’m learning a lesson here. If I looked them up, I’d be dawdling and subsequently avoiding writing those 3 scenes. And that’s just what I’m going to do right now: write those scenes, I mean. You thought I was gonna look up dawdle, didn’t you? Nope, I’m lazy today.

Do you know any other words for dawdle?

Any funny stories about dawdling?

Familiar with the origination of this word?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

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Another great read by J.T. Ellison with ‘Lie To Me’ — my book review is below…

lie-to-me

Why This Book 
I selected Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison, when it was available on NetGalley about 3 months ago, after enjoying a prior book by this author. I’m glad I did as it was very engaging and twisty. I chose it this weekend because I am trying to get to a ‘0’ count on NetGalley TBR books and other ARCs so that I can start 2018 with a clean and fresh slate to choose new reads.

Approach & Style 
I read this ~400 page book on my iPad through Kindle Reader over ~5 hours in one day. It is written in third-person POV from a few different character perspectives, including the killer, the husband and the wife. It switches back and forth a few times, but is usually clear and clean when it does.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Ethan and Sutton, both authors jealous of each other’s work, have been married for a few years despite fighting a lot. They lost a baby a few years ago and there might have been an affair or two, it’s unclear at first. Sutton leaves a note that she needs space and no one should look for her outside their Tennessee hometown; Ethan thinks there is foul play and begins to check with her friends and family. Eventually, he loops in the cops and a full investigation opens. It’s difficult to provide anymore details without giving away the plot, but there are tons of twists involving bloggers, reviewers, friends, family and murders in another country. Nothing is as it seems and you never quite know who to trust.

Strengths 
The cast of characters is varied and diverse. You get a sense of love and hatred from almost all of them. The sub-plots are nicely woven into the overall story. The drama and suspense are at a good level — not too over-the-top, not too weak. The writing style is strong and inviting.

Concerns 
The two main characters aren’t very likable. They both seem to treat each other poorly, which makes readers uncertain about rooting for them. Ultimately, the he said / she said dilemma leaves you thinking at the end that there are a few too many open-ended situations. While some intensity and far-out plot points are necessary to keep the thrills high, there are a few pieces that either fell too short or went a bit too far for me. Not enough to have a problem with the work, but enough to hold it back from being a true stellar read. Overall, it’s a typical twisty thrill ride, but because of solid writing and good characters, I’d recommend it to others as a good read.

Author & Other Similar Books 
It’s very similar to Gone Girl. VERY similar.

Questions & Final Thoughts 
I like these types of books. I turn the pages quickly. I get invested. I like the balance between reality and chaos. The author is a good writer. It’s a definite recommend from me for a quick weekend read, but it’s not the “oh my god you have to read this book” type of situation.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 260 – Underdog (RYDER RANT)

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Underdog: a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest

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Happy Monday! It’s Ryder, and I am hopefully on the mend. I am still limping a little bit, but I have started getting up again in the morning when the Dads leave the bed. For about a week, I lounged in bed until after 9 each morning. I think I had a cold that is finally on its way out. Don’t worry, even though I’m getting older, I am a fighting underdog in these kinds of situations. At 10, I’m really around 60 in people years; they say it’s 7 human years for each dog year, but it’s not quite that mechanical. I will overcome and conquer it. I also want to thank the wonderful blogger Misifusa who selected today’s 365 Daily Challenge word for me. Click her name to check out her cool post for a different take on the word ‘underdog.’

For me, besides the obvious cartoon, which I am not old enough to have watched, an underdog is often what people call me. For shiba inus, that’s my dog breed in case you didn’t know, a male is usually around 25 to 30 lbs. I’m about 20 lbs. on a good day (don’t bring up that nasty ‘d’ word from last week), but I’m also a bit smaller than most. They called me the runt of the litter, but that didn’t stop Dad from picking me out on Thanksgiving weekend 10 years ago. That’s right, it was our 10-year anniversary together yesterday. He went to visit his parents in Pennsylvania for the holiday and they stopped at a pet store on Saturday just to have something to do. We connected and he came back the next day and adopted me before driving back to NY. He almost adopted my sister, but she was a bit crazy, biting the glass on the cage and growling like a bear. She was also black-and-tan. Did you know we come in different colors? I like being a red sesame, I think it’s the best one. Anyways… happy 10 years, Dad!

Back to underdog… this week, my battle is with a reindeer named Rudolph. I’ve pasted a picture below; he’s about 5 inches tall and wide, and I guess he’d be considered the underdog in this fight. Grandma brought him over to me on Thanksgiving. He plays that song I’m sure you all know. Dads took a video of me fighting with Rudolph, trying to stop the creature from ‘you-know-where’ from singing. Rudolph keeps hiding behind the potted plants on the window ledge, just far back enough I cannot get to him. I try all day long, jumping, swatting my paw at him and occasionally whine-barking. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s when an otherwise normal and healthy adult dog acts like a little puppy and whines to get his toy back. At least that’s what Dad says to me: “Stop whine-barking.” I caught Rudolph yesterday and bit him at least a hundred times until I figured out how to turn the music on and off. Now I turn it on just to torture Dad, as he doesn’t want to hear that song all day long.

My little lesson today: when you’re the underdog in one situation, don’t assume you automatically are in all situations. Reversal of fortune is often at play!

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About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester

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Overview 
With the holiday season coming up, this is a definite read for children who need a touch of hope and humor. Loosely based on the concepts of reindeer who fly through the sky, with a famous one named Rudolph, this beautiful picture book takes off dashing from there… the lead reindeer character, Ronaldo, is named for a famous soccer player — you can imagine the great amount of other antics incorporated in the rest of the book. The background story that Maxine Sylvester has created is pure imagination woven tightly with a reality we all know.

In this second book in the series, the reindeer crew, in school to learn how to properly fly, meet a young wolf who needs help finding her pack. She’s feisty and protective, loyal and adorable. The book makes you feel part of the story, including the wonderful drawings done by the author herself. Add in a contest, a scary forest and a kooky instructor, there are bunches of warm moments and great arcs to tantalize kids with as you read to them. I highly recommend this series.

carrot.jpg

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Versions of the Self by Christy Birmingham

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A book review on a collection of poems…

versions-of-the-self-poetry-book-cover (2)

 

Overview 
The ~115 page book is a collection of 80 poems organized by 8 sections, all relating to the concept of ‘self.’ It covers individual views, relationship views, sadness and joy; the full range of emotions. At times, it was something light and easy to comprehend, but at others, it was diverse and complex. Some of the lines call to you, urging you to compare your own life to the narrator’s. It’s personal and introspective — all the things I like when someone shares part of the self. Given this is a different type of work, I’m not writing a normal review where I cover plot, characters and setting. Instead, I offer a few lines that really spoke to me:

“I want to alter my recipe,

Lighter on the ridicule and

Heavier on the gratitude

If I am here to speak,

My tongue learns to pronounce properly

The language forming within me.”

Poetry is often difficult for many people as it is abstract and full of metaphor. It compares things we don’t necessarily understand,  but in this one, you’ll find something different. Something that gives you the freedom to find varying levels of meaning that speak to you as the story evolves through each subsequent poem. The concept of the self… whether it’s how you view yourself today versus tomorrow, is clearly intense and complex. Ms. Birmingham pulls no punches telling you what the narrator is feeling, what’s real and what’s on her mind — whether it’s the emotional reaction to a situation or the physical impacts of pain and fear. But there’s also hope and inspiration, packaged in both obvious and hidden ways.

You could read this all in one sitting in about 60-minutes or you could read a chapter each night over a week. There’s depth, maturity and intensity in the words. It’s one of those great opportunities to hear a voice with power behind it and analyse your own thoughts and actions. Take a chance, it’s worth it.

 

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.